Is euro area economic resilience overrated?

In Short

In contrast to expectations, the euro area avoided a winter recession. A key reason probably was strong domestic demand heralded in a rise of the services PMI (sPMI) from 49.8 in December to currently 55.9 thereby more than offsetting the deterioration of the manufacturing PMI (mPMI) that is much more exposed to the global economy.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Even if domestic demand proved rather strong in Q1, we still expect GDP to contract in H2. We push back to Q4 the worst of the recession that we anticipate.
  • Excess savings and labour income resilience remain supportive to growth. But increasingly tighter credit standards and cracks in parts of the economy (such as Commercial Real Estate) could deepen the recession. We expect that a compromise on the debt ceiling results in fiscal consolidation, dampening an already weak 2024 growth outlook. The alternative would be an unprecedented period of chaos.
  • The Fed is done with tightening, but sticky inflation prevents an early pivot. We expect two rate cuts in Q4 of this year, roughly in line with current market pricing despite our more bearish growth outlook.
     

 

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Is euro area economic resilience overrated?

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